Does Restasis Work For Dry Eye Disease?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Steven Woloshin, MD MS

Steven Woloshin, MD Professor of The Dartmouth Institute Professor of Medicine Professor of Community and Family Medicine

Dr. Steven Woloshin

Professor of The Dartmouth Institute
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Community and Family Medicine
The Center for Medicine in the Media
Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
Lebanon, New Hampshire

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There has been a lot of debate about the legal maneuvers (ie, transferring patents to the Mohawk Indians) Allergan has employed to delay marketing of generic alternatives to Restasis (cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion 0.05%).   But there is a more fundamental question that has received little attention:  Does Restasis work?  It is not approved in the European Union, Australia or New Zealand where registration applications were “withdrawn prior to approval due to insufficient evidence of efficacy” in 2001.   Although Canada approved Restasis, its national health technology assessment unit, unconvinced of meaningful benefit, recommended Canada not pay for it – according to our research, no Canadian provincial or federal drug plan currently does.   Nevertheless, Americans have spent $8.8 billion in total sales between 2009 and 2015 on Restasis, including over $2.9 billion in public monies through Medicare Part D.

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Higher Ozone, Lower Humidity Linked to Dry Eye Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dong Hyun Kim, M.D.
Clinical assistant professor,
Department of Ophthalmology,
Gil Medical Center, Gachon University
Incheon, Korea

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Kim: Air pollution is an important public health concern nowadays and ocular surface is continuously exposed to the outdoor air pollutants.

Dry eye disease is a representative ocular surface abnormality and a probable disease to be associated with air pollution.

However, there is no large scale study including multiple air pollutants in assessing a relationship between air pollution and dry eye disease. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Kim: The main findings in this study are that higher ozone concentration and lower humidity were associated with dry eye disease, while there were no relationships between PM10(particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10um) concentration and  dry eye disease in the Korean population.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Kim: Particulate matter in several air pollutants have been considered as a main factor on the public health and dry eye disease in Asia especially.

From this report, we additionally need to be aware of the importance of ozone in dry eye disease.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Kim: `I have a plan to perform a clinical study about dry eye disease and air pollution.

I will investigate several objective symptoms and signs in dry eye disease patients (for example, OSDI score, tear break up time, ocular staining score, schirmer test) and analyze the changes of dry eye according to the changes of multiple air pollutants. A lot of clinical studies about ozone and dry eye disease are required.

In addition, I will investigate a relationship between air pollution and other ocular disaeses (for example, cataract or pterygium) through a epidemiologic study.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Kim: The results from our study mean just associations, do not definitively mean a cause and effect relationship between  dry eye disease and outdoor air pollution factors.

Therefore, clinicians should be cautious in over-interpretation about our study.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Hwang S, Choi Y, Paik H, Wee W, Kim M, Kim D. Potential Importance of Ozone in the Association Between Outdoor Air Pollution and Dry Eye Disease in South Korea. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online March 10, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.0139.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Antibiotic May Treat Dry Eye Disorder

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Yang Liu MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Yang Liu
Preceptor and

David A. Sullivan, MS, PhD, FARVO Senior Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology Harvard Medical School Boston, MA, USA  02114 Founder, Tear Film & Ocular Surface SocietyDr. David A. Sullivan, MS, PhD, FARVO
Senior Scientist, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA, USA  02114

MedicalResearch.com: What is the main finding of the study?

Answer: We discovered that azithromycin (AZM) can directly stimulate the function of human meibomian gland epithelial cells. Given this finding, it is possible that this antibiotic may prove beneficial as a treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), which is the leading cause of dry eye disease in the world.
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